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Project update June 2024

We would like to invite residents and businesses to a series of workshops and conversations to find out how, together, we best invest £300,000 to brighten and refresh Morden town centre.

We are seeking your views on the types of improvements we will make to Morden. For example, public artwork, vibrant new street furniture, planting, and pop-up spaces for events and cultural activities.

We’ll be seeking input to:  

  • Find out what they like about Morden town centre and what doesn't work for them so we understand exactly what improvements they would like to see;  
  • Help us design some of the street furniture and other public realm improvements;  
  • Where they want to hang out and what underused public spaces can be brought into use for their benefit.

You can take part in any of these four interactive workshops or event this summer:    

Pop-up 1

Morden Town Centre

Wednesday 10 July and Thursday 18 July

Workshop 1: What does Morden mean to you?

Saturday 6 July, 11am - 1.30pm  

The Vault  
102-110 London Road
Morden
SM4 5AX

Reserve a place

Workshop 2: Community walkabout

Tuesday 16 July, 5.30 - 8.30pm  

The Vault
102-110 London Road
Morden
SM4 5AX

Reserve a place

Workshop 3: Biodiversity and green spaces

Wednesday 24 July, 6pm - 8.30pm
The Vault  
102-110 London Road
Morden
SM4 5AX

Reserve a place

Workshop 4: Public spaces and streets

Sunday 22 September, 11am - 7pm  
Street festival
Abbotsbury Road
Morden
SM4 5LQ

Reserve a place

This initial £150,000 investment work - known as a ‘meanwhile strategy’ - is only the very start of our ten-year regeneration plans in Morden that will unlock the full potential of the town centre and make it fit for the future. A further £150,000 is also allocated for future projects and investment in Morden to 2026.

Take the survey

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Artist impression of Morden town centre
Artist's impression of Morden town centre

Project update March 2024

Major regeneration projects take time to come to fruition and involve a lot of up-front planning and preparation. We are actively working on a number of workstreams, which together build towards achieving the vision for the town centre.

The main workstreams are:

  • Long term development and housing delivery - Working with landowners and utilising the council’s land to secure a development partner to bring forward new homes and business space.
  • Public realm and heathy streets - Working with TfL to establish a Healthy Streets vision for Morden’s public realm, including proposals to rationalise bus standing facilities and create new public spaces at the heart of Morden.
  • Placemaking - Co-designing and delivering a series of ‘meanwhile’ shorter term improvements to the public realm whilst the longer term plans are being defined.

Placemaking workstream

In November 2023, we announced that we will be investing £300,000 of Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy to improve the Town Centre, partly through a Meanwhile-Use Strategy to brighten up and activate the public spaces around Morden.

The strategy will start by engaging residents, businesses and visitors to inform the delivery of temporary projects for a period of five years. The strategy will consider opportunities for seating, planting, artwork and events in Morden.

We have now appointed a team to carry out this engagement, design and delivery – composed of:

  • Sustrans - a UK wide charity, who since 1977 works with communities to ensure that the benefits of walking, wheeling and cycling are enjoyed by everyone.
  • Lugadero - engagement and urban design specialists.
  • Firecracker Works - a Merton based design, production and fabrication studio. Lugadero and Firecracker works have previously collaborated on delivering meanwhile spaces as part of the Play Wimbledon project in 2018.

For Morden, Sustrans and Lugadero will collaborate with local communities to engage and design interventions, and Firecracker Works will build and install any street furniture designed as part of the project.

Engagement events to inform the strategy will take place in the late Spring 2024 around Morden. We will be communicating more information in May with a full timetable of events and workshops. We would then progress with designing the interventions with the aim to start delivering the interventions from the Autumn 2024. 

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regeneration zone

Statement from the Morden Regeneration Cross Party Steering Group July 2021

The Morden Regeneration Steering Group is a cross party advisory group which includes Councillors from the 4 wards that intersect with Morden Town Centre: Cannon Hill, Merton Park, Ravensbury and St Helier. Members agreed the following cross party communications statement at the Morden Regeneration Steering Group meeting held 27 July 2021:

The council remains fully committed to regenerating Morden into a thriving town centre which includes new homes, improved transport interchange, revitalising retail, and modern business space.  
 
Over the next two years, Merton council will be investing £300,000 to improve the look and feel of the town centre, supporting business recovery from the pandemic, providing new public spaces, and art installations. We will also be building on and creating increased co-operation between community groups and business as we move forward on the project.

Merton is working in partnership with Transport for London to actively pursue funding opportunities to develop, fund and deliver on this project despite the many challenges from the pandemic, and people’s evolving preferences in the way they work.

Our vision is to revitalise the town centre and build on all the great things Morden has to offer, including great transport connectivity, a National Trust Park, independent businesses, and community facilities, including the new state of the art leisure centre.

This is a long-term project which will require collaboration with partners and cross-party working as collectively we all want to see a thriving and regenerated Morden which brings new homes, jobs, and investment in the local infrastructure. 

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Artist impression of Morden town centre

Image above: Artist impression of Morden town centre

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We are working with Transport for London (TfL) to bring forward the regeneration of the town centre. Our vision is to transform Morden into a vibrant and sustainable destination, which will enable businesses and the local economy to thrive, provide a significant number of new homes and a range of facilities and services for the local community. The regeneration has long been an ambition and priority of ours, with strong support from local residents and businesses, to make Morden a town centre of the future.

We continue to work with TfL, the Mayor of London and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ (DLUHC) sponsored agency, Homes England to explore and bid for a number of funding opportunities to bring forward the regeneration plans. A review is currently being undertaken of alternative delivery methods and funding options for the town centre, to bring forward the start of the regeneration works.

A major regeneration of this scale will take some time to develop and deliver. The process has already started with the development of a vision, a set of objectives and key priorities that have been developed through multiple rounds of engagement with the local community.

It is difficult to determine exact timescales at this stage due to a number of factors such as external funding, market conditions, the implications of the Covid 19 pandemic and availability of land. The regeneration is expected to take place in a number of phases over a 10-15 year period. Further details will be shared as they become available.

In 2015, Morden Town Centre was announced as one of the Mayor of London’s Housing Zones, identifying it as one of 30 sites to be brought forward for accelerated housing development and growth. As part of the Housing Zone status, Morden was allocated £42m; however this was not grant funding to the Council, it was a loan facility available only to developers. At the time, the project was in the early stages and did not have a development partner signed up and therefore the funding was not available.

In 2017, the council and TfL supported the GLA in submitting a bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to unlock housing through the delivery of the Morden Housing Zone. While the bid was well received, it was unsuccessful as the assessment criteria meant that other major national schemes that did not need to assemble land were seen as more favourable for the fund.

In 2018, the council and TfL jointly submitted a bid to the GLA Land Fund. In 2019, it was reported to Merton’s Cabinet that the project had been awarded an in-principle allocation of grant funding from the Mayor’s Land Assembly Fund within the Homes for Londoner’s Land Fund, subject to due diligence and agreed of funding terms and conditions. In March 2020, the council and TfL were advised that although the Mayor is supportive of the plans to regenerate Morden town centre, at the time the GLA was not in a position to support the project financially, following the completion of due diligence. The Mayor’s Land Fund is aimed at bringing land forward for housing quickly across London and funding was allocated to other projects that would deliver much needed housing quicker than the Morden project would be able to, including those that already had planning permission, or where sites had already been cleared.

This is a substantial regeneration project and will take some time to develop and deliver. Securing funding for the scheme is one of the key elements in enabling the council to bring this opportunity to the market and deliver our vision, and we continue to seek the opportunities that are available. We are currently liaising and working with Homes England to explore future funding opportunities for the scheme and these discussions are ongoing.

The proposal for Morden town centre is to deliver circa 2,000 new homes within the regeneration boundary, including 40 per cent affordable housing. The delivery of these homes will go towards the much needed housing that is required in Merton, also helping to address London’s housing crisis.

Morden functions as a successful town centre, which is well located and has a strong daytime trade. Consultation feedback has constantly highlighted that residents and other town centre users would like to see a greater variety of shops and a night-time economy in Morden. Our vision is to make Morden a destination; we want to support local businesses in providing a varied retail offer to help Morden realise its potential as a great place to live, work and socialise. By enabling the local economy to thrive and provide a range of facilities and services for the community, the regeneration will deliver improved retail, commercial and leisure opportunities. 

Any affected landowners and tenants within the town centre will be continually engaged throughout the design and development process, and officers will be available to discuss the options available to each person. Some preliminary engagement has already taken place as part of the new Local Plan process.

We understand how important it is to listen to the views of local residents, businesses and other users of the town centre, particularly what they would like to see in the future Morden town centre. The regeneration has been an ambition of the council since 2008 and remains a priority. Since that time, there have been a number of public consultations to understand the views and priorities of the local community and these have fed into the development of the vision and objectives of the regeneration.

As detailed designs for the development have not yet been developed, we will continue to engage with the community to ensure that local concerns can be addressed and benefits maximised, where possible. Previous consultation feedback has shown significant local support for improvements to the town centre. Specifically, improvements to the visual amenity of the high street, a better variety of shops, an improved public realm, changes to the bus standing area and the creation of a night-time economy. Public feedback will continue to be part of the regeneration process to help shape the development proposals.

This website provides the most up to date information about the regeneration plans and will continue to be updated as the development progresses to the next stages. You can sign up for our email newsletter updates via the link at this end of this webpage. We will also provide information through the My Merton magazine, local press and leaflets.

If you have any further questions, you can contact our Future Merton regeneration officers via email at more.morden@merton.gov.uk or phone on 020 8545 3837.

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Contact us

Future Merton
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

Telephone: 020 8545 3837
Fax: 020 8545 3326

Email: more.morden@merton.gov.uk